Bismuthene on a SiC substrate: A candidate for a high-temperature quantum spin Hall material

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Science  21 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6348, pp. 287-290
DOI: 10.1126/science.aai8142

Making a large-gap topological insulator

Although of interest to basic research, topological insulators (TIs) have not yet lived up to their technological potential. This is partly because their protected surface-edge state usually lives within a narrow energy gap, with its exotic transport properties overwhelmed by the ordinary bulk material. Reis et al. show that a judicious choice of materials can make the gap wide enough for the topological properties to be apparent at room temperature. Numerical calculations indicate that a monolayer of Bismuth grown on SiC(0001) is a two-dimensional TI with a large energy gap. The researchers fabricated such a heterostructure and characterized it using scanning tunneling spectroscopy. The size of the experimentally measured gap was consistent with the calculations.

Science, this issue p. 287

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